Ladies, In 2018 Let’s Stop Treating Each Other As Competition

friends laying in flowers
Sam Manns

I know, I know.

You are likely thinking that drama between women must end at a certain point in adulthood, but I will be the first to tell you that it doesn’t.

The bullshit actually can and will continue into if you are not careful about nipping all that toxicity out for good. We all have had girlfriends that have either cut us off or have given us the side eye for petty reasons.

As women, we program ourselves to compare ourselves to each other because we want to be the best. We want to know we are the prettiest, the smartest, or the gal that grabs the guy’s attention.

We may even deny that we have compared ourselves to our closest friends, but trust me when I say that we have, even without being aware of it.

You may have held some past resentment against them for some reason that you now know is stupid as fuck and shouldn’t have even been an issue in the first place.

But we grow and we learn and the more we live the more we reconnect with past acquaintances, a perfect opportunity for us to hash out differences that may have gotten in the way of a potential friendship.

When we enter our twenties, life gets hectic and the changes are unbelievable.

One friend may have gotten engaged and is now too caught up to even remember who you are, another may have moved away without telling anyone in the hopes of finding herself, or another friend may be chilling, waiting around for someone to actually acknowledge that they are here and trying to get it together like you.

Recently I reconnected with an old gal friend from high-school, at a Chapter’s bookstore in Toronto.

Not only have we not seen each other in ages, we met up at a time when I was still trying to sort out my own existential crisis that made me feel like she would judge me.

All sorts of thoughts were running through my head. Will she think I look a mess? Will I have a total anxiety attack and want to run away? Will her life be 100% times better than mines and my depressive life story will make me feel even worse than when we met up because now I have a life to compare it to? Maybe this was just a huge mistake and I should take my tail on home and call it a day.

I paced around the bookstore, beginning to sweat because I was fussing about everything. The way I looked, even how I was being perceived in the store itself. When you are going through something hard in life, your self-esteem takes a tremendous hit and everything seems more magnified than it really is.

But something in me told me to stay, to have the courage to rekindle a past friendship and to see where everything would go from here and if it would truly be for the better.

When we finally found each other in the crammed book store, we instantly greeted each other with a smile and squealed at the fact that we hadn’t seen each other in like forever, like literally five years since my high-school graduation.

The last time we had an encounter was years ago and it was over some serious petty shit.

I found myself comparing my life to hers constantly, along with a whole other bunch of people that were flaunting their lives on social media, because as we know, from the outside, everyone’s life seems perfect and 1000% better than what yours may be right now.

And sitting across from her at the restaurant table we found to eat at, I wondered if she ever had those thoughts, or if I was the only insecure one.

But in her presence, I noticed something that I found refreshing; we were exactly alike and had the same stories to share.

The big elephant in the room was that my depression had taken over me for months and I didn’t want her to have that image of me. I wanted to reunite and for her to see me have it together. But no one has it all together as I learned throughout our discussion that evening. I somewhat had this notion that she would be a more elevated version of herself than I come to believe, a version of myself that I would have to match up to.

Chowing down on our burgers and fries, we reminisced about how much we have grown, detailing inside sex jokes and talking about our love lives and the gossip that had accumulated since we had seen each other.

We were both free and ourselves.

No secret nitpicking over who looked better and that awkward, tense feeling of being in another woman’s presence and feeling like you had to measure up. We simply unloaded and were ourselves. We complemented and congratulated each other on our wins and wished the best for one another.

While I had my anxiety about her noticing any signs of my recurring depression and even sharing my story in general, she opened up to me about her own critical moments with depression and even how her family has been affected.

Hearing her speak was like listening to a story about myself because that is how much our lives mirrored one another. It was not a session of catching up to see who had it better, it was a moment to be human and share in each other’s authentic truth.

Going through what have I gone through this past year, being in her presence was a refreshing and beautiful thing, because it reminded me that authentic relationships between females can actually exist.

Rounding up the bill she looked at me and said, “I think our high school selves would be proud.”

I smiled as she giggled, my mind going back to my nerdy and awkward high school self.

Ladies, it’s seriously time we stop looking at our girlfriends as competition. It’s not only a waste of time, but the amount of energy we put into trying to one up our friends is the same amount of time we could be using to actually just get to know each other and be real, because you know what, we ALL have a story.

The chick you think looks better than you? She experiences hurt. The woman, who seems to have the most perfect Instagram, is going through some real family drama you don’t even have a clue about.

If I learned anything life changing with my encounter with my old gal pal is that life is almost never as perfect as you may think it is for the people you are trying so to compete with.

The time you spend hating on someone, especially another female, could be spent trying to hear her story and see what she is all about and how she has been navigating life thus far, a battle that only God himself knows is a challenge.

I left my dinner with a long time friend not only wondering why I ever was afraid to reach out to her but also realizing how awesome and beautiful she is as a person.

This year, don’t bother holding grudges and stop the pettiness for good!!!! If you want to meet up with someone and hash out your differences, do not let pride ever get in the way. Be an adult about your issues and face them head on.

Most importantly, as a woman, having meaningful friendships that last are possible in your twenties if you put forth the effort to see beyond foolish gal tendencies.

You don’t have to compare, compete, or hold meaningless feelings of jealousy towards other women. You can shine, win and slay together.

Do that this year and see how your life improves and how much better you feel as a person.

It’s worth it, I promise. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

God first. Friend. Encourager.

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